Nov 272016

There has been considerable controversy about the fake news stories that spread from user to user on Facebook, and that companies unwillingness co control the fake news there.  But from where did all that fake news come?  Apparently  over two hundred websites have been parroting Russian propaganda regularly to help elect Putin’s dog, our Fuhrer.

1127Fake-NewsA sophisticated Russian propaganda effort helped fuel the spread of fake news during the election cycle, the Washington Post reported Thursday.

Two groups of independent researchers found that Russia employed thousands of botnets, human internet “trolls” and networks of Web sites and social media accounts to inject false content into online political talk and amplify posts from right-wing sites

“They want to essentially erode faith in the U.S. government or U.S. government interests,” said Clint Watts, a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute who co-authored a report about Russian propaganda. “This was their standard mode during the Cold War. The problem is that this was hard to do before social media.”

A similar report from PropOrNot, provided to the Post, identifies more than 200 websites that routinely pushed Russian propaganda to at least 15 million Americans, and found that false stories pushed on Facebook were viewed more than 213 million times

Some stories originated from RT and Sputnik, state-funded Russian information services that are more akin to traditional news sites but sometimes include false or misleading articles.

The coverage was overwhelmingly favorable to Donald Trump, and some of the most notable examples of fake news garnering major traffic online centered on Hillary Clinton’s health, protesters that were allegedly paid to interrupt Trump events, and fears about vote tampering.

“The way that this propaganda apparatus supported Trump was equivalent to some massive amount of a media buy,” said the executive director of PropOrNot,…

From <Daily Kos>

If you want to take a look, here’s the list of websites that have regularly repeated Russian Propaganda.  Several are sites I’ve been familiar with for a long time, that I do not consider intentional purveyors of Russian propaganda.  Instead, I consider them useful fools that have long been popular with the wing-nut fringes. of both left and right. The best none site on the list is Wikileaks.  While I can’s say with certainty that Assange sold out to the dark side, but at the very least, he echoed reams of material that he obtained from Russian s-called hackers without checking its authenticity.

That said, the biggest culprits of this fiasco are the Main Stream Media.  If they were doing their job, Americans would not be s hungry for authentic news, that they were duped by Putin and Republican tolls.


  15 Responses to “Fringe Websites Parroted Russian Propaganda”

  1. It's been said that a lie can be half way around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes.  Nowadays, I think that saying goes along with "Murphy was an optimist."  The biggest problem, it seems to me, is that once a person gets hold of a fake story, when one tries to spread the real story, the person WON'T LET GO.  And this is true not just for ignorant Republican conspiracy nuts, but essentially for ALL people.  It is quite frightening.

    I personally am grateful to the InterNet for sites like Snopes, where one can generally find out very quickly what the truth is (and I try to be as quick as I can so the lie won't settle into my head.  I'm not immune – no one is.)  But for those to work, one has to use them.  And way too many people, and, I repeat, not just stupid people, don't.

  2. Fake news is going to be a HUGE problem in the coming years.

    Trump is now claiming that HE actually won the popular vote … IF you deduct the MILLIONS of people who voted illegally

    Of course Snopes proves the grifter is a lying asshole:

    And Right Wing Watch provides background on how the Fake News started


  3. WOW, the list is quite long.
    I'm very leery of some links. Fake news has been around for quite a while, and it will, indeed get much worse, with DT spewing his lies.  I agree, Snopes is great to check out to see if the info is correct too.

    Thanks, Tom.

  4. Earlier today I submitted a Letter to the Editor, of the NY Times, regarding "Fake News."  It might be too long for them to accept for printing, I realized afterwards, however.

     This is the last line of the letter: "That said, this country, culture, needs to find a way to work together to create a healthy mind that at least, can better distinguish real from fake, and thus not feed the sociopaths."

    The "That" referred to was a reference to what I called the "sociopathic impulse" in those who feed fake news to the public.


  5. Thanks for sharing the list, I just posted it to Facebook.  You are right, if the main stream media actually did its job, these sites would not be successful.  The main stream media helped elect Trump as much as these sites did.

  6. I try to reserve a grain of skepticism for any news story.  While I did not know of most of the sites listed by Prop or Not, I found it interesting that Truthdig and Truth-out should make the list.  Now Drudge Report I believe.  Of course some journalists are not too happy with the Washington Post and their approach to the story.

    From Truthdig

    Fang’s Intercept colleagues Glenn Greenwald and Ben Norton went into more detail in their own story posted the same day:

    This Post report was one of the most widely circulated political news articles on social media over the last 48 hours, with dozens, perhaps hundreds, of U.S. journalists and pundits with large platforms hailing it as an earth-shattering exposé. It was the most-read piece on the entire Post website on Friday after it was published.

    Yet the article is rife with obviously reckless and unproven allegations, and fundamentally shaped by shoddy, slothful journalistic tactics. It was not surprising to learn that, as BuzzFeed’s Sheera Frenkel noted, “a lot of reporters passed on this story.” Its huge flaws are self-evident. But the Post gleefully ran with it and then promoted it aggressively, led by its Executive Editor Marty Baron:

    Marty Baron


    Russian propaganda effort helped spread fake news during election, say independent researchers 

    In casting the group behind this website as “experts,” the Post described PropOrNot simply as “a nonpartisan collection of researchers with foreign policy, military and technology backgrounds.” Not one individual at the organization is named. The executive director is quoted, but only on the condition of anonymity, which the Post said it was providing the group “to avoid being targeted by Russia’s legions of skilled hackers.”

    In other words, the individuals behind this newly created group are publicly branding journalists and news outlets as tools of Russian propaganda — even calling on the FBI to investigate them for espionage — while cowardly hiding their own identities. The group promoted by the Post thus embodies the toxic essence of Joseph McCarthy, but without the courage to attach individual names to the blacklist. Echoing the Wisconsin senator, the group refers to its lengthy collection of sites spouting Russian propaganda as “The List.”

    • Lynn, Truthdig and Truthout are sites that got their start in the 911 truther movement and were notorious for supporting any conspiracy theory news, even ones that contradicted each other.  Like many wing-nut sites, they vet articles on point of view, rather than factual accuracy.  Both sites backed Jill Stein, so they republished anything that was critical of Hillary.  More than likely, they didn't know they were repeating Russian propaganda.  Truth-out and Truth-dig have published some excellent articles, but I don't trust them to use them as sources, because in the distant past I had to post retractions, because I trusted their material.

      • Where Tabbi and others went wrong is taking the Post's article as a blacklist or an attempt to silence the sites.  It was not.  Inclusion on the list makes no judgements about intent.  If a website repeatedly used material that originated as Russian propaganda, they got on lhe list.  We have friends at Care2 that repeatedly linked to such material in support of Jill Stein's campaign.  Nobody is implying that they colluded with Russians or even knew it was Russian propaganda.  Ideally, I'd like to see sites apologize and retract.  It's no fun, as I well know.  Unfortunately fringe sites seldom have that level of integrity.

  7. Let me be frank about this. Those fake news sites didn't have to work very hard to "erode faith in the U.S. government or U.S. government interests," the past eight years of GOP/ Tea Party madness in Congress, culminating in this farce of an election has done some major groundwork for that. The solid base that has created by them was just what the major news media, like Faux News and Breitbart needed to build their own brand of fake news on. And with whole demographic groups, especially those in rural areas, completely dependent for their information on those media, those Russian sponsored sites had it easy.

  8. Thanks all.  Hugs!!

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